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**UPDATED** The battle for the NBA crown has begun

Boston punches their ticket; Knicks and Pacers are back and forth

The NBA playoffs continue. We are in the semi-finals, and each series has reached the halfway point. There is about a week left before the conference finals start. The Dallas Mavericks are leading against the Oklahoma City Thunder three-to-two, the Denver Nuggets lead three-to-one against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Boston Celtics won their series against the Cleveland Cavaliers four-to-one, and the New York Knicks are leading the Indiana Pacers three games to two. All these series have been interesting and fun to watch as most of them go down to the final minutes.

The Nuggets have had an incredible comeback to the series, and their hopes of defending their championship are not over yet. The Timberwolves started the series by winning the first two games in Denver. In game two, the Nuggets were held to under 80 points. However, they showed that they were not done yet. The Nuggets won both games in Minnesota to tie the series. As the series shifted back to Denver on Tuesday night, Nikola Jokić dropped a 40-point-7 rebound-13 assist stat line to give Denver the three-two lead. Only 32 teams in the history of the NBA playoffs have successfully come back from being down two to zero to win the series. Will Anthony Edwards be back in game six and force a game seven, or will the defending champs complete their series comeback? Find out by watching game six on Thursday night.

The Thunder started their series against the Mavericks by winning game one, but the Mavericks went on to win games two and three to take a two-to-one series lead. In game four, the Mavericks were up by eleven at halftime. However, the Thunder outscored the Mavericks by seven points to cut the lead to four. The Mavericks were leading the Thunder throughout the fourth quarter until the Thunder took a one-point lead with two minutes left. The Thunder went on to win the game with a wild ending shocking the whole arena to tie the series. Game five was played in Oklahoma on Wednesday night, and the Mavericks won to take a three-to-two series lead. Game six will be played in Dallas on Saturday night.

The Boston Celtics have been the favorites throughout the playoffs to make it to finals and win the championship. On Wednesday night, they became the first team to make it to the conference finals. They will be playing the winner of the Knicks and Pacers. The Boston Celtics also made it three in a row for them to make it to the conference finals. The Celtics won the first game but Donovan Mitchell’s 29 points in game two gave the Cavaliers a 24 point win to tie the series. The next two games were in Cleveland and the Celtics weren’t going to let the Cavaliers go up two-to-one so they won by 13 points. Game four and five, Donovan Mitchell was injured. This was a huge blow for the Cavaliers as their star player was gone. The Celtics took advantage of this and won the series in five games.

The last series is in the East, between the Knicks and Pacers. This series has had a couple of twists and turns. The Knicks started the series by leading two-to-zero at home. But everything changed when they arrived in Indianapolis. The Pacers were ready to fight back and give it their best. In game three, Nesmith hit a dagger three in the last thirty seconds to ice the game. In game four, the Pacers won by a massive 32 points. Game 5 was back in New York, and to avoid being down three-to-two, Brunson poured in 44 for the Knicks to win by 30 points. Game 6 will be played in Indianapolis on Friday night.

Championships are what every athlete and every team aspires to when they start playing. 

The time has come for the 2024 NBA playoffs. Sixteen teams have qualified for the 2024 playoffs. By May 4th, only eight will remain. The playoffs are the most exciting and interesting part of the season to watch for most people. However, the playoffs can be challenging as all the teams try to keep their season alive and become crowned champions.

On Sunday night, the Minnesota Timberwolves won their first NBA playoff series since 2004, qualifying them for the second round. The Timberwolves became the first team to make it to the second round in the 2024 NBA playoffs, and they did it in style by sweeping the Phoenix Suns four to zero. This was also their first time in franchise history to sweep a team in the playoffs. Anthony Edwards led the team for the series, dropping an average of 31 points per game. The Timberwolves have warned the whole league about how dangerous they can be and how everyone needs to watch out for them.

The Oklahoma City Thunder lacks playoff-experienced players, but that will not stop them. They swept the New Orleans Pelicans four to zero and advanced to the next round Monday night in New Orleans. They haven’t been to the second round since 2016, which tells us they don’t have much experience. The Thunder are a young team with lots of potential. They can be dangerous, and everyone should be aware of them.

The Denver Nuggets started their postseason by dominating the Los Angeles Lakers. Nikola Jokić and Jamal Murray gave the Nuggets a four-one series win, and they closed it out on Monday night in Denver. Star players Jokić and Murray averaged 28.2 and 23.6 points per game. Micheal Porter Jr. has also stepped up for the team, averaging 2.82 points per game. Jokić has also been putting up crazy stats, and he looks to help the Nuggets defend their NBA championship title.

Who knew the New York Knicks would start their playoffs well without one of their star players, Julius Randle? The Knicks have started their playoffs with a three-to-one series lead against the Philadelphia 76ers, and they look to advance to the next round of the playoffs by winning it in New York on Tuesday night. The Knicks have been doing this without one of their key players, Julius Randle, and another player, Mitchell Robinson, for games 4 and 5, while the 76ers have had all their players throughout the series.

Many would say that the Boston Celtics are not championship-worthy because of their loss against the Miami Heat at home in game two of the first-round series without the Heat’s star player, Jimmy Butler, who was a key player in their roster to help them make it to the finals as a play-in-team in 2023. Even though the Celtics didn’t play so well in game two, they returned in games three and four to win both in double digits in Miami. The Celtics have a variety of key players who help in every aspect needed, such as points, rebounds, and assists. No player on the Celtics is averaging more than 24 points since everyone is helping and sharing the ball equally to get the job done. The Celtics have been showing lots of teamwork on their court, and if they keep this work up, they might be able to win the championship.

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